The Great Australian Bite: Celebrating Australian Cuisine on Malibu Pier

Presented by The Los Angeles Times and Tourism Australia

On April 10, 2024, the iconic Malibu Pier was transformed into a cultural nexus for the “Great Australian Bite,” an exclusive culinary event that celebrated the rich and diverse flavors of Australian cuisine. This event, a collaboration between The Los Angeles Times and Tourism Australia, promised an immersive dining experience that paired Australian culinary traditions with Californian flair.

Culinary Fusion on Display

As the Pacific Ocean’s waves lapped against the shores of Malibu, guests were treated to an atmospheric evening that captured the essence of Australian hospitality. The event featured a family-style feast that showcased a harmonious blend of Australian and Californian produce, complemented by world-renowned Australian wines.

Chris Allison, Vice President of The Americas at Tourism Australia, highlighted the event’s core appeal: “Increasingly, premium food and wine experiences are a major draw for travelers from the US. Australia’s exceptional dining culture, rich with diverse flavors and ingredients, was showcased beautifully in Southern California through this event.”

A Lineup of Culinary Stars

The dinner was spearheaded by some of Australia’s most celebrated chefs. Josh Niland, known for his revolutionary approach to seafood sustainability, and Jo Barrett, acclaimed for her zero-waste ethos and passion for native ingredients, joined forces with Monty Koludrovic. Together, they crafted a menu that not only highlighted Australia’s gastronomic excellence but also incorporated the freshest local ingredients from both continents.

Chef Monty Koludrovic Speaks on Culinary Integration and Innovation

Monty Koludrovic, a key figure in this culinary assembly, shared his insights on integrating Australian culinary concepts with Los Angeles’ diverse food scene, the synergy of working with his wife, and his specific contributions to the Great Australian Bite event.

  1. Can you share some challenges and rewards you’ve encountered while blending Australian culinary traditions with Los Angeles’ diverse food culture? 

“Ultimately I’ve had such an incredible response to some of the Australian culinary vibes here in the US. Some are actual Australian foods/dishes but also just some American classics that have gone through my Australian prism.”

  1. Your collaborative efforts with your wife, a respected pastry chef, have led to the opening of several venues, including Grandmaster Recorders and Strings of Life Café. How do you balance the creative and operational aspects of running multiple establishments, and what role does teamwork play in your success? 

“We have worked together for almost 15 years, it has its bumps and twists but for the most part we have managed to achieve a lot. Often the creative chats happen over dinner or when we are on an airplane… Jaclyn is the operational queen. She is such a hard and diligent worker. She is the one who will find a way for some of the more whacky ideas to become reality, for sure.”

  1. The Great Australian Bite event presents a unique platform to showcase your culinary expertise. What can attendees expect from your contributions to the event’s menu, and how do you plan to incorporate the event’s focus on Australian artists, cocktails from Four Pillars Gin, and South Australia Wine into the dining experience? 

“I’m so excited to showcase Australia to the world, its something I try and do on a daily basis but GAB is definitely an awesome platform to show LA what Australian hospitality is all about.

Im preparing some of my absolute favorite things at this dinner. Spicy Sausage Rolls with Great Southern Lamb and Aji Amarillo chili relish… Freshly shucked oysters with various accoutrement… and whole charcoal grilled prawns from my guy Steve at Transparent Sea Farm down in Downey. An incredible product with an incredible message.”

  1. Sustainability and innovation are significant themes in today’s culinary world. How do these concepts influence your menu development and the overall dining experience at your venues?

“Sustainability is a critical piece of the puzzle as a chef, especially as the platform of chefs increases in mainstream media and more and more people want to engage it is important we fly the flag of our farmers and producers…. And for the world. I think the important thing is to come at the menu with some important products/messages/concepts in mind. When you know of the marks you want to hit the rest will fit in around it. The transparent Sea Farm prawns is a great example… after visiting Steves facility in Downey and talking with him about the challenges he faces in such a competitive market, it became apparent the best way we could support him and the good work he does is to feature his product in a way that allowed him to give us a mixed bag of sizes. It allowed him to focus his XL prawns to customers that ’needed’ them big whilst freeing up his farming rotation flexibility.”

  1. With your extensive experience in elevating Australia’s culinary scene both domestically and internationally, what advice would you offer to aspiring chefs looking to make their mark in the culinary industry, especially those keen on blending cultural influences in their cooking?

“I was naturally blessed with physically big ears… but by far my best tip is to have big ears figuratively too. Everywhere you go and everyone you meet, keep your ears open… I have travelled a lot and worked all over the world but I haven’t done it all and worked everywhere, I still thirst for opportunities to learn and grow. That doesn’t stop. Love what you do and feed the love.

My cooking reflects my time in vastly different cultures throughout my life, I just enjoy presenting food through my lens, as an Australian, as a son of a mixed migrant family and as of a traveller.”

ABOUT TOURISM AUSTRALIA: Tourism Australia is the Australian Government agency responsible for promoting Australia to the world as a destination for leisure and business travel. For more information visit

Where: Malibu Pier, Malibu, CA
When: Wednesday, April 10, 2024, 4pm
Tickets: $295

Photo credits: Courtesy of David Arellanes


Sign up for FREE to receive our exclusive Weekend Roundup!

Get the best things to do in our favorite SoCal spots delivered to your inbox every week

Los Angeles

Orange County

San Diego